Tags: Kerry's | Trillion | Health | Plan

Kerry's $1 Trillion Health Plan

Friday, 10 September 2004 12:00 AM

Worse, his plan "would virtually destroy the individual and small-group health insurance markets" while "most Americans would not be able to remain in the private health plan they have today," said the study's authors, John Goodman and Devon Herrick.

There are more problems with Kerry's plan:

"The bottom line is that it's entirely possible to spend $1 trillion and not reduce the number of uninsured," says Goodman, the NCPA's president, adding that the quality of care would suffer under the Kerry proposal.

The study also found that since there wouldn't be any increase in health care providers and suppliers, the additional money would likely simply buy higher health care prices.

While Kerry advocates more government control of medicine via funding mechanisms, others criticize this "socialistic" approach to medicine. They favor a health care system controlled by physicians, not "managed care" insurance companies, and believe competition created by a system whereby consumers had to pay for care themselves would be a much better alternative. And, they argue, such a "free-market approach" would ultimately drive prices downward.

The concept is described in an essay written by Jacob G. Hornberger, for the Future of Freedom Foundation, a non-partisan organization promoting individual rights.

In his essay, "The Real Free-Market Approach to Health Care," Hornberger quotes libertarian-minded economist Ludwig von Mises, who wrote, "Authors of economics books, essays, articles, and political platforms demand interventionist measures before they are taken, but once they have been imposed no one likes them. Then everyone—usually even the authorities responsible for them—call them insufficient and unsatisfactory. Generally the demand then arises for the replacement of unsatisfactory interventions by other, more suitable measures. And once the new demands have been met, the same scenario begins all over again."

Says Hornberger, "No words could more accurately describe the nature of America’s so-called health-care crisis. After decades of governmental intervention into the health-care arena, the failures are apparent for all to see. But rather than root out the cause of the problem, Americans are demanding that government do something about it."

For his part, John Kerry appears ready to repeat the cycle.

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